Bond, James Bond: Roger Moore
Arch Rival: Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale)
Bond Girl: Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles)
The central piece in Moore’s seven part odyssey as the world’s most famous spy was the costliest and most successful Bond till then. In this episode, Bond investigates the disappearance of a US space shuttle Moonraker. He finds out that a California based tycoon, Hugo Drax, with hardware supplies from Venice and chemicals from near Rio de Janeiro is behind this. If The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) showed us a maniac who tried to build an underwater world, Moonraker follows another trying to take the finest of the human race to space. Bond takes the help of a NASA astronaut/CIA agent/babe Holly and travels around the globe trying to track down his arch rival’s base station. He finally ends up in the deep interiors of Amazon where he finds out that his enemy is out of the world, literally.
I am sure I’m going to be flamed for telling this, but Moonraker is a solid Bond film. Agreed that the plot and action is much over the top, but hey, what did you expect, Bergman? Superior stunt choreography includes a jaw-dropping free fall, a boat chase in Venice and a fistfight over a winch. Bond is funny except for the lines where his puns fall flat (Even then he is funny, but unintentionally so). Jaws arrives as a gem and is as stylish as Bond at many places. Amusing references to both Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), but don’t even think about comparison.